Why is adultery/fornication so attractive?
Shaytan committed a sin through disobeying Allah with his arrogance; he thought he was better than Adam so he refused to obey Allah’s command that he bow to Adam. Hence, he incurred Allah’s Wrath. Instead of becoming humble, admitting his sin to Allah and seeking His (swt) repentance, he became even more stubborn, shameful, arrogant and revengeful. He blamed his misguidance on Allah and then asked Allah to delay his punishment so he could lead us astray. This is how he vowed to do so; shaytan said: “I will surely sit and wait for them (referring to humans) on your straight path, then I will come at them, from in front of them and behind them, from their right and from their left…’. (Quran Surah al-A’raf, Ayahs 11-18)
So do you see, it is Shaytan’s goal to lead us astray. He knows that fulfilling one’s sexual desires is a basic human need, and he also knows it is a sin to fulfil this need with anyone but our spouse, so he fuels our desire in order to blind us and make us fall. It is reported that some of the Prophets said to Iblis, “By what did you defeat the son of Adam?” He said, “At the time of anger and at the time of desire”.
Allah warns us in the Quran (Surah Ibrahim, Ayah 22) by telling us that Shaytan has vowed to entice us and will then turn his back on us when we are held to account on the Day of Judgement by saying: “…Verily, Allah promised you a promise of truth. And I too promised you, but I betrayed you. I had no authority over you except that I called you, so you responded to me. So blame me not, but blame yourselves. I cannot help you, nor can you help me. I deny your former act in associating me (Shaytan) as a partner with Allah (by obeying me in the life of the world). Verily, there is a painful torment for the Zalimoon (polytheists and wrong-doers, etc.).”
So, I ask dear brothers and sisters – why oh why are we intent on pleasing Shaytan when he is out to deceive, destroy and betray us? Do we hold such little self importance that we will lower ourselves to something that will damage us so greatly?
The million dollar question: How can we prevent ourselves from giving into our base desires?
1] Seek protection with Allah from Shaytan, through verbal recitation and establishing prayer:
Allah says in Surah An-A’raf: 201: “Indeed those who fear Allah when an impulse touches then from Shaytan, they remember Him at once and they have insight.”
Allah further says in Surah Fussilat, Verse 36: “And if it comes to you from Shaytan an evil suggestion, then seek refuge in Allah. Indeed He is the All Hearing, All Knowing”. So say: “I seek refuge with Allah from Shaytan the accursed.”
Strengthen your relationship with Allah, through establishing your obligatory acts of worship, five Salaah, Fasting in Ramadan, giving Zakah etc. Allah advises us in Surah Al-Ankabut, Verse 45, to establish Salaah as doing so will protect us from immorality: “Recite, [O Muhammad], what has been revealed to you of the Book and establish prayer. Indeed, prayer prohibits immorality and wrongdoing, and the remembrance of Allah is greater. And Allah knows that which you do”.
2] Remember Allah is watching you:
Next time you have an urge to go into a closed off area to commit your sin, remind yourself of this hadith stated by the Prophet (saw) regarding ‘Ihsan’ (true righteousness): “[Ihsan is] to worship Allah as though you see Him, and if you cannot see Him, then indeed He sees you.” (Al-Bukhari and Al-Muslim).
Would you feel embarrassed on doing such shameful disgusting deeds if you knew that Allah was watching? Well Allah is watching you and can see and hear your every sinful thought and sinful action. Allah warns us in Surah 43, Verse 80, “Or do they think that We hear not their secrets and their private counsels? Indeed (We do), and Our messengers are beside them to record”.
3] Do not belittle the sin, remember the enormity of it:
Remind yourself again and again that anything that leads to a sin is a sin itself: looking, flirting, sweet talking, touching, hugging, intimacy. Do not belittle these seemingly smaller sins: all of them are sins, leading to bigger sins and will cause grief, destruction and doom.
The Prophet (saw) said to Aisha (ra), “O ‘Aishah, abstain from the sins which are looked upon as trivial, for they too will be enquired about by Allah.” (Ahmad)
Also another saying, “Beware of minor sins, for they will gather together on man so much so that they will kill him.” (Ahmad)
Furthermore, if you try to console yourself by thinking, ‘Oh well, a bit of flirting, hugging, kissing etc is not actually the real act of zina, so it won’t hurt to do them’, then you are doing nothing but creating a false sense of security for yourself and living in delusion! As remember Allah warns us against coming anywhere near to zina as they lead to the evil way! “And come not near to the unlawful sexual intercourse. Verily, it is a Fahishah [i.e. anything that transgresses its limits (a great sin)], and an evil way (that leads one to Hell unless Allah forgives him).” (Surah Al-Isra,Verse 32)
Some scholars say that the ‘other’ haraam physical intimacies of the relationship are in fact classified as ‘zina’. In a hadeeth narrated by Muslim, the Prophet (saw) warns us: “The zina of the eyes is looking, the zina of the ears is listening, the zina of the tongue is speaking, the zina of the hand is touching and the zina of the foot is walking. The heart wishes and and longs and the private part confirms that or denies it.” Ibn Battaal (ra) also said: “Looking and speaking are called zina because they invite one to true zina. He then said: “the private part confirms that or denies it.”
4] Remember you are a disbeliever at the time of committing adultery!
The Prophet (saw) said: “No adulterer is a believer at the time when he is committing adultery.” Narrated by Al-Bukhaari (2475) and Muslim (57).
He (saw) also said: “If a man commits zina, faith comes out of him and hovers over him like a cloud, then when he stops, faith returns to him.” Narrated by Abu Dawood (4960) and al-Tirmidhi (2625);
So you are in a state of disbelief when committing adultery! Furthermore, the acts leading to it have also been labelled as zina in the above hadiths, so even during committing those ‘other’ acts, your iman is in a state of doubt. That leads on to the next frightening point, what if….
5] Imagine, ‘what if’ your soul is taken while you are in that state of disbelief?!
Allah warns us in the Quran (Surah As-Sajdah, Verse 11): “…The Angel of Death, who is set over you, will take your souls, then you shall be brought to your Lord”.
There are angels who torture the wrongdoers at the time of death: “If only you could see, when the angels take the souls of those who disbelieve, the angels are beating their faces and their backs.” (Qur’an Surah Al-Kahf, Verse 50)
6] Think of what the grave consequence of your sins could be:
You will have displeased Allah greatly, thereby losing out on multiple blessings during your life on earth. You may have to face shame and dishonour. You may lose close friends. Upon realising your sin, you will feel pain, shame, grief, depression; you will experience negativity, loneliness and bitterness. You may have to live with knowing you broke someone’s marriage, thereby incurring the curse of the ex wife, or you may catch a sexually transmitted disease. And these are just some of the worldly consequences. The pain in the Hereafter to come will be incomparable to anything you could ever imagine.
7] Warn yourselves, there is no hiding; the angels are recording our every action, word and thought:
Allah Most High also tells us, “For each (person) there are angels in succession in front of him and behind him, who guard him by Allah’s command.” (Qur’an, Surah Ar-Ra’d, Verse 11).
“And We have already created man and know what his soul whispers to him, and We are closer to him than [his] jugular vein when the two receivers [i.e. recording angels] receive [record each word and deed] seated on the right and on the left. He does not utter any word except that with him is an observer prepared [to record]. (Qur’an, Surah Qaf, Verses 16-18)
“And indeed, [appointed] over you are keepers (angels who preserve the deeds of men in records) noble and recording, they know whatever you do.” (Qur’an, Surah Al-Infitaar, Verses 10-12)
8] Warn yourselves, that on the Day of Judgement, all our sins will be laid bare for all to see:
“Every person is held responsible for his [or her] deeds. On the Day of Resurrection We shall bring out for him a scroll which he will see spread open. (He will be ordered): Read your own record; It is sufficient that you judge yourself today.” (Surah Bani Israel 17:13-14)
We will feel embarrassment and shame comparable to none we have ever felt on earth. Imagine our family and friends seeing all the sins we have committed, imagine them seeing the zina that has been indulged in, all the sins of our bare flesh, every evil taken on by every limb, every look, every thought. It will be as though our personal autobiographies have been caught on film from puberty till this day with our intentions displayed on a high definition cinema screen.
What are you thinking? Is your body not shivering with fear at the thought? I am sure it is and yet you have no idea how much you will be exposed on that day, unless Allah accepts your repentance through His Immense Mercy. If you are not shivering with fear, then my dear brother/sister, you are most definitely suffering from a spiritual disease of the heart and need help. (There is a cure though: turn back to Allah).
9] Fear the Sirat, The Bridge on the Day of Judgement:
The Messenger of Allah(sws) said about the bridge: “So the hooks over that bridge will be like the thorns of As-Sa-dan except that their greatness in size is only known to Allah. These hooks will snatch the people according to their deeds. Some people will be ruined because of their evil deeds, and some will be cut into pieces and fall down in Hell, but will be saved afterwards, when Allah has finished the judgments among His slaves, and intends to take out of the Fire whoever He wishes to take out from among those who used to testify that none had the right to be worshipped but Allah.” (Sahih Bukhari- Volume 8, Book 76, Number 577)
Also: Narrated by Abu Sa’id Al-Khudri: “We, the companions of the Prophet said, “O Allah’s Apostle! What is the bridge?‘ He said, “It is a slippery (bridge) on which there are clamps and (Hooks like) a thorny seed that is wide at one side and narrow at the other and has thorns with bent ends. Such a thorny seed is found in Najd and is called As-Sa’dan. Some of the believers will cross the bridge as quickly as the wink of an eye, some others as quick as lightning, a strong wind, fast horses or she-camels. So some will be safe without any harm; some will be safe after receiving some scratches, and some will fall down into Hell. The last person will cross by being dragged over the bridge.” (Sahih Bukhari- Volume 9, Book 93, Number 532)
If thats not bad enough, what if apart from wronging yourself, you have wronged someone else through your sin, and have not sincerely sought their forgiveness or they have not forgiven you? You will have to face them on the bridge in the Hereafter, as one of the questions we will be asked when crossing this bridge will be about the rights of humans, the rights of parents, and whether one took care of one’s relatives. So what if you used someone sexually and dumped her/him, what if you destroyed someone’s marriage, what about his/her ex? Have you sought their forgiveness?
10] Remember that in the court of Allah Most High we will not only receive our books with our deeds present but our bodily organs will also testify against us on that Day:
Allah says in Surah An-Nur, Verse 24: “On the Day when their tongues, their hands, and their legs or feet will bear witness against them as to what they used to do”.
“Till, when they reach it (Hell-fire), their hearing (ears) and their eyes, and their skins will testify against them as to what they used to do. And they will say to their skins, “Why do you testify against us?” They will say: “Allah has caused us to speak, as He causes all things to speak, and He created you the first time, and to Him you are made to return”. And you have not been hiding against yourselves, lest your ears, and your eyes, and your skins testify against you, but you thought that Allah knew not much of what you were doing. And that thought of yours which you thought about your Lord, has brought you to destruction, and you have become (this Day) of those utterly lost!” (Qur’an, Surah Fussilat, Verse 20-23)
11] Remember the punishments that await those who have committed these sins:
The Prophet (saw) warned: “If one of you were to be stabbed in the head with a piece of iron it would be better for him than if he were to touch a woman whom it is not permissible for him to touch.” (Reported by al-Tabaraani; see also Saheeh al-Jaami, 5045).
This refers to the punishment for just touching, so how about worse deeds, such as embracing and kissing, and even worse kinds of illicit activity? Shudder at the thought!
Punishments liable for the one who confesses or is proven guilty of committing zina: The first revelation concerning the punishment of zina was that a woman guilty of zina was to be confined to her home until she died: “And those of your women who commit illegal sexual intercourse, take the evidence of four witnesses from amongst you against them; and if they testify, confine them (i.e. women) to houses until death comes to them or Allah ordains for them some (other) way”. (An-Nisaa, Verse: 15).
The next ayah says: “And the two persons (man and woman) among you who commit illegal sexual intercourse, punish them both”. (An-Nisaa, Verse16).
Allah (s.w.t) then revealed in Surah An-Nur, Verse 2 (which is known to be an abrogation of Ayah 15 in Surah an-Nisa): “The woman and the man guilty of illegal sexual intercourse, flog each of them with a hundred stripes. Let not pity withhold you in their case, in a punishment prescribed by Allah, if you believe in Allah and the Last Day. And let a party of the believers witness their punishment.”
The Messenger of Allah (sws) clarified this injunction by saying: “Take from me; Allah has made a decree for them. A virgin (committing zina) with a virgin: one hundred lashes (for each) and exiling for one year (for the man). And a married (committing zina) with a married: one hundred lashes and stoning.”(Saheeh Bukhari)
What are you thinking? That you can take the lashing? Just a few whips and that is? Wake up Oh Muslim, the shame and the pain would be unbearable! And the stoning would be the end of you!
All that is just a drop in the ocean, compared to the punishments for the sinner in the next life: The Prophet (sws) has told us of the punishment that those who commit zina will receive in their graves before the Hour begins, and that they will be punished with fire; narrated by al-Bukhaari (1320).
Allah Most High says in Surah Al-Furqan, Verses 68-69: “And those who invoke not any other ilah (god) along with Allah, nor kill such life as Allah has forbidden, except for just cause, nor commit illegal sexual intercourse – and whoever does this shall receive the punishment. The torment will be doubled to him on the Day of Resurrection, and he will abide therein in disgrace”.
12] Lower our gaze and cover our adornment in front of non-mahrams:
Allah advises us in Surah An-Nur, Verse 30-31: Verse 30: “Tell the believing men to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts, etc.). That is purer for them. Verily, Allah is All-Aware of what they do.”
Verse 31: “And tell the believing women to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts, etc.) and not to show off their adornment except only that which is apparent (like palms of hands or one eye or both eyes for necessity to see the way, or outer dress like veil, gloves, head-cover, apron, etc.), and to draw their veils all over Juyubihinna (i.e. their bodies, faces, necks and bosoms, etc.) and not to reveal their adornment except to their husbands, their fathers, their husband’s fathers, their sons, their husband’s sons, their brothers or their brother’s sons, or their sister’s sons, or their (Muslim) women (i.e. their sisters in Islam), or the (female) slaves whom their right hands possess, or old male servants who lack vigour, or small children who have no sense of the shame of sex. And let them not stamp their feet so as to reveal what they hide of their adornment. And all of you beg Allah to forgive you all, O believers, that you may be successful”.
The Prophet (saw) said, “…do not let a second look follow the first. The first look is allowed to you but not the second.” [Ahmad, Abu Dawood, at-Tirmidhi]. What this means is that the first look is by accident. If this happens then do not take a second look.
The Prophet (saw) also said that, “the eyes also commit adultery by looking at someone with lust.” [Bukhari]
13] Do not make our voices seductive or sweet in front of non-Mahrams:
This is done by lowering the voice and not flirting. As Allah tells the wives of Prophet Muhammad (saw) in Surah Al-Ahzab, Verse 32: “…do not be pleasant of speech, lest one in whose heart there is a disease should feel desire for you…”
14] Do not ever be alone with a non-mahram:
The Prophet (saw) forbade men and women from being alone together. He (saw) said: “Never is a man alone with a woman except that Satan is the third party with them”.
This refers to unnecessary talking via email, text and phone as well.
15] Have faith in Allah that He will help us:
This is one of the most important points, but I purposely left it till the end as I wanted to remind you that the Prophet(saw) said ‘tie your camel first then put your trust in Allah’. Meaning, make the effort to implement the practical advice Allah has given you through the Quran and Sunnah, then have faith that He(swt) will help you through. So do not think to yourself: ‘I’ll just go watch a movie with my boyfriend/girlfriend one more time, I can control myself, nothing will happen, I’m strong enough,’ and then expect nothing to happen – because you know it will and you’ll have no-one to blame but ‘yourself’. So do the right thing and avoid being alone with them in the first place and then make dua for Allah to make you strong to be steadfast in this.